Brad Dee: House Republicans will discuss Swallow impeachment

May 31 2013 - 1:20pm

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House Majority Leader Brad Dee
House Majority Leader Brad Dee

SALT LAKE CITY -- Republican leaders of the Utah Legislature plan to dedicate a June meeting to discussing the possibility of impeaching embattled Attorney General John Swallow.

House Majority Leader Brad Dee told fellow House Republicans the June 19 session will include a review of impeachment procedures and other options available to address allegations surrounding the state's top law enforcement officer.

Swallow, a Republican, is the subject of federal and local investigations, and of complaints filed with the state elections office and bar association.

Swallow's spokesman Paul Murphy did not immediately return a message from The Associated Press on Friday seeking comment on the planned meeting.

Murphy previously said Swallow has no plans to resign and suggests lawmakers should wait for all of the facts to emerge.

Swallow has denied wrongdoing and said he expects his name to be cleared.

Rep. Spencer Cox, R-Fairview, told The Associated Press on Friday that he welcomes the June discussion. Cox said he would prefer to see Swallow resign.

Last week, Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, became the first lawmaker to publically call for Swallow to step down, saying that it would be best for Utah and the attorney general's office.

Dee, who represents Ogden, said he doesn't expect House Republicans to take a formal position on impeachment at the meeting, and it's likely that most of it will be open to the public.

Two-thirds of the members of the Utah House of Representatives would have to be in favor of an impeachment session in order for that process to start. If the House later voted to impeach Swallow, the Senate would serve as judge and jury.

"Everyone is concerned and wants to do the right thing for the state, and everyone is taking this issue very seriously," Rep. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, told the Salt Lake Tribune. "This is not something we're going to approach haphazardly."

Federal investigators are looking into allegations from an indicted Utah businessman that Swallow set up a plan to derail a Federal Trade Commission probe by bribing U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

Swallow and Reid have denied the allegations.

The Utah elections office has also appointed special counsel to investigate whether Swallow broke election disclosure laws by failing to disclose his interests in a company entangled in the bribery allegations.

 

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